Bar Pesta is a new pasta bar with an Asian twist on Crown Street in Darlinghurst. The menu pairs Asian flavours with spaghetti, linguine or penne. There are also hearty rice bowls and salads on offer. It is from the same team as Vietnamese restaurant Xage, formerly at the same location.
Dear Reader, we had a few issues with our meal here mostly to do with service. It started with booking. Now I'm just happy when any place takes bookings especially for lunch and when I booked a table it told me that a confirmation would be coming through shortly. And that's the last I heard about the table as a confirmation failed to materialise. However it's not an issue because when Sammie and I get there at 12:30 on a Friday there are a couple of tables of table that look like work groups but other than that it's quiet (but perhaps an issue if you're trying to book during busy periods).
Bar Pesta is currently running a $10 lunch special that they advertise on a sandwich board outside. All pastas except for the tom yum pasta are $10 which is a good deal. The clipboard menu looks to be a work in progress. Sammie and I liked the sound of the pork belly croissant but that isn't available. There is a drinks packages and there are some breakfast items but breakfast isn't yet available. We choose a pasta each and then try one of the rice bowls adding in a side of fried chicken (ok that was me, you know me, right? ;) ).
Pork Belly Riceberry Bowl $16
There are four riceberry bowls, riceberry being a dark purple hybrid of two types of jasmine rice that is low to medium GI. We decided on the pork belly riceberry bowl with slow cooked Asian flavoured pork belly, pickles, half a golden son-in-law deep fried boiled egg and steamed greens. The pork belly is nice and I like the hot chillies added to the salad and it's pretty enormous.
The fried chicken is just warm in temperature and I would have loved it hot and freshly fried. Still the breading is nice and crunchy. It needs a bit of sauce and we ask for some mayo and they bring us some chilli mayo that does the trick.
By now we are waiting about an hour for our pasta mains. Our waiter has disappeared and Sammie flags him down and asks about our pasta. He furrows his brow. "Pasta? Which pasta did you order?" he says as if he weren't the same waiter that took our order. Sammie explains out choices and he says "Oh yes they're 5 minutes away."
Aglio e Olio Laotian $10 (usually $16)
15 minutes later our pastas come out. We were actually quite full from picking at the riceberry bowl but we dig a fork in. I start with their version of Aglio e Olio linguine pasta with chilli, garlic, rocket, olive oil, white wine and Laotian sausage. Linguine is the standard pasta but you can order it with spaghetti or penne. Despite our exasperation with the wait time the pasta is delicious. The Aglio e Olio has plenty of garlic and a generous amount of Laotian pork sausage. Even if this fusion has some Italians rolling in their grave, dare I say it works.
Miso Carbonara 63C Egg $10 (usually $16)
The miso carbonara has a 63°C egg although this is more solid through that it usually is. It's paired with caramelised onion (menu reads caramelised "opinion"), egg cream and nori. It has a wonderful flavour with just the right amount of miso-you can certainly taste it but it isn't overpowering.
I almost want to come back and order more of the menu...I just have to leave plenty of time!
So tell me Dear Reader, how long is the longest that you have waited for a dish to materialise? Do you like the idea of these fusion pasta? Would you choose linguine, spaghetti or penne?
This meal was independently paid for.
333 Crown Street, Surry Hills, NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 9332 3344
Lunch: 11:30am-3pm Thu-Sun
Dinner: 5pm-10pm 7 days